Letter to rectors and authorities of Chilean universities

Letter to rectors and authorities of Chilean universities

As academics and academics from Chilean universities, we want to urge and support the authorities to take action anticipatory to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) on our country. Chile now has a great advantage, and it is the information that the data on the evolution of this epidemic in other countries give us. In this sense, international evidence is clear and forceful in saying that early preventive measures – suspension of classes in educational pre-educational venues, along with other forms of social estrangement, are an effective way to stop the accelerated rate of contagion. This is particularly critical of a virus like this that, if not encountered with aggressive containment measures, can show a fast-growing rate. This situation can result in a saturation of the care grounds, making it difficult to provide the necessary care to the entire population in need. This is what is being observed in many countries that reacted late. Slowing the spread of the virus is key to flattening the growth curve.

That is why it seems to us that Chile is a priority to take action today to delay as much as possible this growth in contagions, suspending face-to-face classes in educational precincts immediately and not waiting for diagnosed cases at the facility. To do this we have a very narrow window of opportunity. Every day that passes without taking action can make a crucial difference in the evolution of the disease.

International evidence also shows that many of the activities we carry out in person can be coordinated and carried out remotely. That's why we call on university authorities to implement immediate measures by suspending face-to-face activities and developing our classes in "on-line" mode. We are convinced that this is not only possible but also necessary, and will give a clear signal to the rest of society in order to implement massive isolation measures in other
institutions in an orderly manner, without panic, and thinking of the good of all.

Couzin-Frankel (2020) Does closing schools slow the spread of coronavirus?
Pueyo (2020) Coronavirus: Why you Must Act Now
Anderson et al. (2020) How will country-based mitigation measures influence the course of the COVID-19 epidemic?

Signatures (2281 adherents – updated to Saturday 14 March 2020 at 22.30hrs)

See letter